It's getting crowded in here. The U.S. Congress is filling up with laws designed to fight spam, and the jail holding mobster Vincent "The Chin" Gigante, who's serving a 12-year sentence for racketeering in New York, soon could be filling up with spammers. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida) has introduced legislation that would make sending unwanted mass e-mail a racketeering offense, up there with the numbers game and extortion, and open to fines and jail time under the RICO act that landed Gigante in prison.
I'm willing to bet it's a relevant statistic of the software industry that somewhere, at any given time, some poor schmo's Web browser is crashing. It doesn't matter if you use Mozilla, iCab, the latest version of IE or some other hunk of code: Sooner or later you'll run across an errant page that brings the whole shining mess down upon itself. Browsers are still rather flaky pieces of software, perpetually sprouting features while what lies beneath remains a tottering mess.
Representative Phil Barnhart of the Oregon state legislature in March introduced a bill that would compel the state to pledge to strongly consider Linux and other open source programs in all future purchase decisions. Barnhart's bill doesn't require that the state purchase Linux or any other software. It simply calls for an examination of the merits of open source software during the buying process...
I admit that I was unimpressed when I saw the first PalmPilot, way back in 1996. I was given a sneak peak by the company, and though I had already become a fanatic about Palm's Graffiti software on the Apple Newton, I was convinced the new device was a dud. With its clunky frame, primitive user interface and hard-to-read screen, I expected the Pilot would take a short trip to nowhere. "No one's going to pay $300 for that piece of *#@%!" I exclaimed...
Onetime Internet darling Akamai's (Nasdaq: AKAM) stock hit a 52-week high Tuesday. At US$2.75 per share, the price is hardly stratospheric. This dreary reality is a far cry from the days when the company first became closely identified with the infrastructure of the Net. At an all-time high of $345 per share on January 3, 2000, it was not hard to believe that Akamai would become a crucial worldwide facility, much like the power grid.
If you just passed on buying a new computer, join the club. First-quarter PC sales figures from Gartner and IDC suggest the market grew just 4 percent in terms of units sold compared with the year-ago period -- nowhere near the double-digit gains of the go-go 1990s. As many IT shops sat on their hands, PC makers felt the heat: Hewlett-Packard saw analysts' 2003 earnings estimates revised downward by 2 U.S. cents, to $1.18 per share, on concerns that computer sales will remain sluggish in the near future. Not all companies are sweating, however. HP's stock price seems stalled at $16, but IBM's is sailing along at $86...
Whatever you may think of the publishing revolution known as blogging, the advent of technology for posting "top-of-mind" thoughts to a Web site is an intriguing development in Internet history. Weblogs, or "blogs" for short, dramatically ease the process of uploading simple kinds of content, thus facilitating a loosely organized kind of collaborative publishing.
Spammers, perhaps the most hated denizens of the Internet, are under siege as the U.S. Congress and courts step up the pressure to reduce junk e-mail volume. Private companies are taking action, too: On Monday, AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo forged an alliance to fight spam ...
It would be nice, though ultimately very silly, to think that the world's computing facilities could be secured by locking down the technology and ignoring the human factors. But that is what Microsoft and Intel seem to believe, with a chip encryption technology in development at Intel called LaGrande, and a forthcoming suite of security software and hardware from Microsoft dubbed Palladium.
It used to be you couldn't coax Apple Computer into breathing a word about enterprise-class computing. When you mentioned selling to the suits, Macintosh marketing folks would get fidgety and flip to the next PowerPoint slide. This was surprisingly true during the tenure of Gil Amelio, whose idea of enterprise strategy was the truly strange marriage of Macintosh and IBM's AIX for Apple hardware. Under Amelio, Apple was sometimes insanely weird.
This week brought the latest piece of evidence that Intel, despite ruling the PC microprocessor race, cannot be all things to all parts of the chip business. The company is closing its custom chip manufacturing division, which for the last 18 months has produced application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) -- specially designed circuits used in networking equipment and other non-PC computing devices. IBM, Intel's archrival in the chip business, is the leader in this area, reaping about US$2.7 billion in revenue last year.
It would be nice if headlines about networked storage were picturesque, such as, perhaps, 'A SAN Grows in Brooklyn.' Unfortunately, storage area networks, hailed as one of the most transformative corporate information technologies in years, are not like young saplings that will, with subtle nurturing, grow into mighty oaks. Data storage networking requires a lot of hard work.
This month's release of Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 will be welcome news for some enterprise players, such as in-house application developers and perhaps some Internet service providers. For others, it will be like walking the plank: They may not want to go forward, but they will be unable to go back -- or even maintain the status quo. ...
In the frenetic boom days of the 1990s, a matter as humble as shipping charges was nothing more than a shot over the bow in the e-commerce battles that raged. For example, when Luggage.com opened its virtual doors in 1999, free shipping on all valises and steamer trunks was a perk meant to establish the site as the primo destination in its niche. ...
Where is BountyQuest when you need it? The company, founded in 2000 and backed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, offered cash rewards to individuals who could prove or disprove a company's claim to a patent. Amazon itself found its patent on one-click ordering called into question on the site. But BountyQuest is apparently no more, its Web site shut down, its phones disconnected...
As the E-Commerce Times detailed in a recent story on data storage, the last few years have seen a significant revolution toward networked storage and away from disk drives and tape loaders attached directly to corporate servers. In fact, research firm IDC has estimated that by 2006, more than 70 percent of storage will be networked via fibre channel or Ethernet, rather than attached locally to a server via SCSI or another conventional type of disk connection.
If you woke up tomorrow and read in the news that Everex had edged out Systemmax in the PC market, your first question might be: Who? Yet every year, millions of buyers in business, government and private homes purchase desktop computers from white-box vendors that possess a mere fraction of the marketing power of Dell or Hewlett-Packard. ...
We all have years in which we pick our heads up in our travails and say, "This will be a make-or-break year for me." That has been said ofIntel competitorAMD year-in and year-out, but the company entered 2003 with more to lose than ever before. It commands a healthy share of thedesktop and notebookchip market, with just under20 percent -- the best figure AMD has enjoyed in the last few years...
In the dot-com heyday, nothing said success like a business that became a verb. One day, a friend said, "Don't send a cheque, just paypal me." PayPal, which began life in 1999 by giving away ten-dollar bills, stormed the market with a simple premise for sending money from buyer to seller that swiftly catapulted it to the front of the online payment ranks. Even mighty eBay was forced to capitulate, spending US$1.5 billion to acquire PayPal last July, a mere five months after buying PayPal competitor Billpoint...
Recent weeks have brought more grim news about tech spending. A study released March 4th by Merrill Lynch, which surveyed 75 U.S. and 25 European CIOs, showed that people who run networks in corporate America are loath to expend capital unless they absolutely must. Merrill found that 62 percent of technology officers feel no pressure to increase spending this year, and a good 40 percent of their budgets will go toward preventing existing machinery from breaking...